Fire strikes vacant Grossinger Hotel, once a Catskills gem

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This photo, provided by the Liberty Township Fire Department, shows a fire that consumed a building on the site of the long-closed Grossinger resort, once among New York’s most famous and glamorous hotels Catskills, in Liberty, NY on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 16. 2022. (Liberty Fire Chief Mark Johnstone via AP)

PA

A fire has consumed a building on the site of the long-closed Grossinger resort, once among the most prestigious and glamorous hotels in New York’s Catskills.

In its post-World War II heyday, Grossinger’s attracted hundreds of thousands of vacationers each year, many of them Jewish. The resort features a 27-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, a nightclub, two kosher kitchens, and a 1,500-seat dining hall. It attracted crooners like Eddie Fisher and was cited as the inspiration for the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.”

The fire broke out Tuesday evening in a three-and-a-half-story building on the former hotel property. Firefighters who responded to the scene had to break through a door and were hampered by overgrowth and concrete barriers. An excavator toppled the structure after the fire was extinguished, according to a Facebook post from the Liberty Fire Department.

It was not immediately clear what the building was used for, although Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild said the main building was demolished about four years ago.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The former 812-acre resort is about 130 kilometers north of New York.

Fisher not only got his start at Grossinger’s, but he married fellow artist Debbie Reynolds there in 1955. Joel Gray and Leslie Uggams, as well as boxers Rocky Marciano and Jack Dempsey, also made appearances.

Grossinger’s operated for nearly 70 years before closing in 1986, suffering the fate of many local hotels after the area’s appeal faded. The site fell into disrepair amid efforts to redevelop it.

About James K. Bonnette

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